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Living in New Orleans about Hurricane Ida: 'Wild chaos and sheer panic'

Living in New Orleans about Hurricane Ida: ‘Wild chaos and sheer panic’

35-year-old Amanda Nadeau is still at home in New Orleans, despite Hurricane Ida hitting Louisiana on Sunday afternoon Swedish time.

Before the storm hit the ground, authorities urged residents in the area to leave their homes, but Amanda Nadeau and her boyfriend still chose to stay. She says that as a student she couldn’t stand a hotel stay for long, and didn’t trust her car enough for a longer trip in a storm.

Amanda Nadeau.

Photo: private

In New Orleans, the power went out on Sunday. When DN arrives at Amanda Nadeu at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday local time, the couple has not had electricity for several hours — and they expect to be without electricity for several days. More than 700,000 people in the state are said to be without power – a number that increased during the evening – and there is no information on when power will return.

A neighbor let Amanda Nadeu connect to the generator, so they at least had access to the fridge. The couple prepared by cooking a large kitchen and filling every bowl in the house with water.

– They said you should be prepared to survive for at least 72 hours. But I think we have enough food to survive a month, even if we don’t want to, says Amanda Nadeau.

When you look out of her window, you see ceiling tiles falling off the neighbor’s roof. The ground is full of debris, branches and flying leaves. Amanda Nadeau, who has lived in New Orleans for six years, says she’s seen a lot of storms.

– But this is clearly something else. She says this is the first time people have been advised to evacuate.

French Quarter in New Orleans on Sunday.

French Quarter in New Orleans on Sunday.

Photo: Patrick Ty Fallon/AFP

Another Amanda, Amanda Wells, remains at his home in Homa, a city southwest of New Orleans, which was in the middle of the eye of a hurricane. She chooses to stay at home with her husband – because they live with his old mother. Amanda Wells says residents of the area are so used to the threats of hurricanes that they have become harsh.

– For this reason, people do not leave their homes despite warnings from the authorities.

But Sunday night local time, she said she would have left if she had known how severe the hurricane was.

– There was no time. So the question became what’s worse: being stuck on the highway or in our house, says Amanda Wells.

Amanda Wells.

Amanda Wells.

Photo: private

Even with Amanda Wells, the power outages, and she apologizes for the poor coverage. So far, her house has survived, but parts of the city have been flooded, and trees have fallen on two of her closest neighbours’ homes.

– The roofs have collapsed and you can see their house directly. But fortunately, they left the area, says Amanda Wells.

During Hurricane Katrina Which in 2005 devastated large parts of New Orleans, destroyed more than 50 barricades and submerged 80 percent of the city.

Sixteen years later, Amanda Nadeau said that she feared that the walls around the city would erupt again, and that she would have to go up on her roof.

For Amanda Nadeau, it’s important to wait and see, although she says fences in the parts of town she live in have weathered previous storms.

We prepare for the worst but hope for the best. I’m not the type to panic, but I have to think about protecting myself and not making stupid decisions, says Amanda Nadeau.

But about Amanda Relatively calm, preparations for the hurricane have been chaotic, she said. Her boss, who fled from New Orleans to Houston, told how the trip, which normally takes five hours, now takes 14 hours due to traffic jams.

Amanda Nadeau saw how stores emptied of goods, and how people flocked to city gas stations to try and fill up their cars if they had to leave their homes.

– It was a wild mess. Amanda says panic and utter devastation.

In Amanda Wells in Homa, the winds have eased somewhat from their peak during the evening – although it is still blowing with hurricane force. You’ll spend the night on a mattress in the lounge – the place you think is the safest in the house.

– We hope we have the worst behind us. The problem, however, is that the winds can return and wreak more havoc. I hope we can make it happen, says Amanda Wells.

Read more:

Disaster declared in Louisiana – no electricity after Hurricane Ida

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